It's been a long time since I blogged, so let's see if I can do a high speed catch up. I was back in the States for most of the month of August and had absolutely no time for blogging. While in East Aurora,Marcia and I visited friends, worked on the house, celebrated my birthday and got to play a gig with the band. Marcia returned to Japan and I flew to California, via Reno, to visit family. I returned to an empty house in Japan as Marcia had already left for a week long meeting in Nagoya. Quite a change from a busy schedule of visiting as many friends as possible in the States, to an empty house in Japan. But within a few days, I was back on track and into my Japanese life. I signed up for a conversational Japanese class that meets three times a week and is very enjoyable. I went on a couple of auditions for my struggling modeling career and have started training for some volunteer work that I will be doing in Tokyo. (The volunteer work is English oriented.) So with that as a backdrop, I'll add some photos to give a slightly more complete picture of the month of August.
One side note: I want to say hi to Ken and Ken and thank them for faithfully reading my blog.
Warning! These pictures will be in no particular order. Just a stream of consciousness of a whirlwind trip.
This is Maggie, our last remaining pet in East Aurora. Stephen says that since the other pets have passed on, she has blossomed and likes not having to share her house. She has become very vocal and enjoys spending time with Stephen and Jeff (Steve's roommate). She was happy to see us and seems to be thriving.
Marcia visited her great aunt and cousin in Niagara Falls.
Marcia's great aunt, Aunty Bea, is amazing! Ninety-seven years old and going strong. Lives at home by herself and leads a very active life.
Marcia's cousin, Duaine, is Aunty Bea's daughter. What a wonderful person. Duaine lives in nearby Lewiston, NY and shares many adventures with her mother.
One of my projects when I was home was to build benches for our deck.
What can I say? It's my idea of a "fun" vacation.
The deck benches in progress and our hard working son coming home from work.
The finished benches.
Wining and dining with our good friends, the Kujawskis.
Our band was able to get together and play a gig while we were home. From left: Marcia,Don,Mark,Larry and me.
Neighbor, friend, and fellow band member, Larry.
Drummer Al. Al may sit in the back behind his drums, but he certainly makes his presence known.
After leaving East Aurora, I flew to the other side of the country to visit my mother and sister in Cedarville, California. What! You've never heard of Cedarville? Don't feel bad, most people haven't. Cedarville is in the very notheastern corner of California. It's a small town in the high plains desert almost on the border of Nevada. The small population includes ranchers, cowboys, and all sorts of interesting people including my mother, sister, brother-in-law, and niece(and her family). Obviously, you can't fly direct to Cedarville, so I flew into Reno, Nevada. Reno is about a 3 hour drive away from Cedarville. My brother, Jim, lives near Reno so he met me at the airport and we enjoyed the nightlife there before driving to Cedarville the next day.
Reno at 5:00 AM in the morning.
Visiting with my family.
In front: my lovely mother, Clare.
From the left: My (fraternal) twin brother, Jim, me, and my brother-in-law Michael
Four generations of my family. My niece, Carmen, her son, Dayton, my sister, Virginia, and my mother, Clare. By the way, today is Dayton's first birthday. Happy birthday!
I have a wonderful family and I was very glad that I was able to visit some of them while I was in the States. My one regret was not being able to visit with my other sister, Joy, while I was there.
All in all, the trip was quite a success with many things accomplished. Now that I'm back in Japan, I'll try to keep everybody a little better informed of our adventures.